When we first bought the house on Oakwood, we went in knowing that I would want to update many parts of the interior and exterior to better fit our style and add some personality. I tried to go in with the expectation that this would be a gradual process, but there were a few changes that we planned to make immediately as soon as we got the keys.
The first changes that we wanted to implement were to the master bathroom. The master bathroom had a walk-in bathtub. This might seem like a dream for a wheelchair user like Kipp, but in reality, it isn’t as amazing as you might think. Here’s why…you have to open the door and get into an empty tub, then you fill the tub and enjoy your lovely hot bath, then you have to let all the water drain out while you freeze to death until you can open the door to get out. I can’t imagine lingering in a regular bathtub until every last bit of water drains out! Given that Kipp has Raynaud’s and horrible circulation issues in his feet, we didn’t feel like this chilly bath experience was something he should attempt.
As we looked closer at the bathtub, it appeared to be installed on top of a tiled shower floor and paneled surround. Then, we noticed that there were some glass shower doors in the garage. We became hopeful that we could turn this step-in tub into a shower without a ton of expense!
Because we were in the process of moving and doing a million things, we decided to call our contractor to have his team work on removing the tub. At first, we thought we might be able to give the tub to a friend, but it turns out the handle was broken and the door wouldn’t open. So, the guys had to dismantle/demo it before pulling it out. It was a big job! Then, they had to seal off the places where the tub had been secured to the walls, attached to the plumbing, and the electrical connections.
Are you dying to know what was actually underneath the tub? I know I was!!! It was a white tiled shower floor and paneled surround, just like we thought. And the back of the shower already had a grab bar! There were also very cute ceramic faucet knobs.
Once the tub was out and we knew we had a shower we could use, we ordered a few things to make it complete:
This shower has been great for Kipp to use, but not perfect. He can roll right up to the edge of the shower and transfer onto the bench, using the two grab bars. It would be great if the shower was curbless or zero-entry, so he could roll all the way into the shower before transferring. Someday, to update things and help Kipp have better access, we plan to remodel the master bathroom to add a floating accessible vanity and curbless shower with built-in bench and hand shower. In the next blog post, I’ll share some of my inspiration pictures for what we are dreaming of for the master bathroom.